Russian President Vladimir Putin Saturday evening has endorsed a new treaty to establish a $100-billion reserve fund for the BRICS group of five leading emerging economies, consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
"The accord on the creation of a common reserve fund for BRICS countries has been ratified," said a Kremlin document, according to a report by Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency.
The reserve fund is intended to shield the BRICS against "short-term liquidity pressures" and encourage greater financial cooperation among the member countries.
The emerging economies have planned to establish their own international bank based in China’s major financial hub of Shanghai in a bid to challenge western dominance over international money markets.
The BRICS countries account for nearly 40 percent of the world's population, and a fifth of the globe’s GDP.
Russia, which has suffered major currency fluctuations since the eruption of the persisting conflict in Ukraine, considers the reserve fund as an alternative to Western-controlled international financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank, which are dominated by the United States and Western Europe.